The Teen Review: Samsung Infuse 4G
The Infuse 4G has been one of the most anticipated phones AT&T has launched so far this year. And with its massive 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, fast 1.2 GHZ Hummingbird processor, and incredibly thin design it’s not hard to see why. We’ve been putting this 4G beast through the paces the last couple of weeks and to put it simply, we think its one of AT&T’s top phones out there right now.
So what are you waiting for? Read on for our full teen review of the Samsung Infuse 4G!
Design and Screen
When it comes to design and screen the Infuse is everything you’d expect from a top of the line Samsung phone– it’s excellent. The 4.5 inch Super AMOLED screen is not just incredibly large but everything looks great on it too. Movies, games, photos, YouTube even texts and websites all looked crisp and clear both indoors and outside. While it’s not as sharp as the iPhone 4′s Retina Display, when you see that Infuse commercial and it says the screen is amazing you can believe it– it really is one of the best we’ve ever seen.
The ridiculously thin Infuse 4G and iPhone 4
In terms of design the Infuse surprisingly felt really great in our hands (like something worth the money your spending on it) considering that huge 4.5 inch screen (and we don’t have huge Shaq-like hands either). It’s also super thin (about as thin as the iPhone 4 as you can see above) so carrying it around was also no problem.
Overall, when it comes to design the Infuse 4G is pretty much everything we could hope for.
The Infuse 4G packs two cameras, a 1.3 megapixel one on the front and a 8 megapixel one on the back. In our tests the cameras were also very impressive with the back taking the expected very nice shots (good enough to use as your regular camera for most days except when you need a zoom) and the front being more than fine for video chats and self portraits. Like the design and screen, the Infuse 4G cameras are equally top of the line. Here are a couple of sample pics we took with the back camera:
Sound and Call Quality
Like the Galaxy S 4G, the sound quality of the speaker on the Infuse when playing back music and video is great with the sound coming in loud and crystal clear. If you like watching a lot of YouTube with friends then you’ll love the Infuse 4G.
Calls on the Infuse also sounded fine, both on our end and those we called. And unlike the Galaxy S 4G, where calls on speaker sounded low, calls on speaker on the Infuse came out perfectly fine.
Oh, and the Infuse comes with those same awesome Samsung in-ear headphones which is definitely a nice plus.
As you can see so far, the Infuse has a lot of major pluses and you can add battery life to that list. Given the speedy 1.2 GHZ processor and great 4.5 inch screen we’d expect the battery to die after a few hours. Thankfully, the battery on here is much, much better than that. We were easily able to get through a full day with constant use of internet, YouTube, texting, email, music, etc. We were even able on some days to push it into a second day.
You probably will still want to recharge every night (always better to start the day at 100%), but in the event you forget you can expect to at least get through some of the next day before you’ll have to find a charger.
Again like the Galaxy S 4G, the Infuse 4G runs Android 2.2 with Samsung’s custom TouchWiz UI on top– and that’s not a bad thing. While we really like the uncustomized version of Android, we still have to say that Samsung has done a pretty impressive job here. Everything was pretty much always quick to load even when we had a whole bunch of apps running in the background (this is also because of that 1.2 GHZ processor which, while not dual-core, is still very fast). The “tweaks” like the puzzle unlock screen for when you have a missed call or unread text (basically you drag the puzzle piece for either the phone or text to the hole which then unlocks the phone in either the phone or messaging app depending on which you chose– see pic above) are all here, as is the easy access to turn off WiFi, Bluetooth or GPS right from the notification bar (great for saving battery for when you don’t need it). There also is the awesome Swype keyboard which we and everyone we showed the phone to really loved using.
We also like that AT&T and Samsung haven’t loaded too many apps on here (such as a whole bunch of game demos and trial apps that you can’t remove even if you never use them). There are a few apps on here– like Angry Birds (with an exclusive level for Infuse 4G owners) and Samsung’s Media Hub (Samsung’s version of iTunes for downloading movies and TV shows)– but those are apps you’d probably want on your device anyways (and you get a $25 Media Hub credit in the box with the Infuse so you can watch right out of the box). Speaking of Media Hub, this worked great for playing back videos on the device itself but we had trouble when trying to play movies bought from the store on our HDTV using the included microUSB to HDMI adapter. We could watch other videos, play Angry Birds and do pretty much everything else on our phone on our TV with this adapter, with the only exception being this app. Not great if you’re using it to buy/rent movies and want to watch on a big screen.
There also are the standard AT&T apps found on pretty much every AT&T device, but luckily they’re pretty easy to ignore and don’t run unless you open them first.
Sadly we don’t know exactly if/when the Infuse will get Android 2.3 Gingerbread (though seeing how this is just being released we’d think this will get an update at some point, but that’s just our guess).
The Infuse 4G, like the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G (and other recent AT&T phones like the HP Veer 4G), is capable of running on AT&T’s HSPA+ “4G” network. Unfortunately out of everything we liked with this phone, calling it “4G’ is a bit of an overstatement.
Now data on here was fine and sites and videos loaded up pretty quickly, it’s just that they loaded like any other 3G AT&T phone and were nowhere near as quick as the 4G networks of Verizon, Sprint, and even T-Mobile (which also uses a HSPA+ 4G network, though we get speeds on their network sometimes double or triple what we’ve seen on AT&T’s). While in our tests around the NYC area we did at times get blazing fast 4G-like speeds of about 8-10 Mbps download (or the equivalent to most home internet connections), we generally saw speeds between 2-5 Mbps download or about the same as our 3G AT&T iPhone 4 (which was actually faster in some of the tests).
Again, the Infuse is still a very fast phone even on 3G-like speeds, and in other areas the speeds may be much faster than what we got, we just wish AT&T’s “4G” HSPA+ network would be more like a 4G network and less like a 3G one (and just a word of note, AT&T is launching their own LTE network– like Verizon’s– beginning this summer in 5 cities that promises to offer blazing fast, true 4G speeds. This LTE network will take some time to rollout across the country and will require new 4G LTE phones different from AT&T’s current 4G HSPA+ phones like the Infuse and Atrix).
So, if you’re looking for a new phone on AT&T right now should you go with the Infuse 4G? We really loved using the Infuse 4G and it’s incredible 4.5 inch screen, and right now find it to be one of the top phones available on AT&T, right up there with the iPhone 4 (particularly if you buy from a place like Walmart or Amazon where it’s only $149.99 with 2 year contract and data plan, a $50 savings off what AT&T charges). That said, the 4.5 inch screen may not be for everyone, particularly anyone with smaller hands, so as with all phones, we recommend you check it out in your local AT&T store first to make sure it’s for you. Though if you do go with the Infuse 4G as your next phone we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The Samsung Infuse 4G is available now for $199.99 on new 2 year contract and data plan from AT&T.